"Three 40th Anniversary Edition" - U2


Track Listing:

Other Tracks

  • “Stories for Boys” will be included on this release, it is not yet known if it will be the version from the original EP or the version that was included with remastered versions of “Three” included in the 2008 bonus materials for Boy

Background Information

For the Record Store Day Black Friday event in 2019, U2 re-issued their first single, “Three” as a 12-Inch single. The single was initially released on September 26, 1979, and contained three tracks, “Out of Control,” “Stories for Boys” and “Boy-Girl.” The first 1000 copies of that single in 1979 on 12-Inch vinyl were numbered, creating an instant collectible. This new 2019 release, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first release, is also numbered, but 17,000 copies have been pressed. (An error on the US Record Store Day site incorrectly reported this as 7000 copies, however the 17,000 number is confirmed in other press information including the UK site for Record Store Day, U2.Com, ordering information sent to retailers, and the press release sent to media by U2’s press team have all stated that there will be 17,000 copies., as well as on the vinyl.) At 17,000 copies this will be the second largest pressing for any Record Store Day, with only the black vinyl pressing of “The Blackout” being pressed at higher quantities. (19,250 copies of “The Blackout” were pressed.)

This release does resemble the original release in some aspects, but as the 1979 release was in generic CBS packaging, and U2 are no longer on that label there are many elements of the design that did change, such as the Irish colours in the sleeve, where the original release was in a generic CBS sleeve. Another big departure from the original is the track listing. Although this release is meant to be a remaster of the original version of “Three”, “Stories for Boys” here is a different version of the song than was on the original EP. The version included here is the alternate recording that had appeared on the Just for Kicks album in 1979, and not the version that had appeared on “Three.” The version of “Out of Control” also has several noticeable changes in the drum track from the original track. This alternate versions of “Stories for Boys” and “Out of Control” also appeared as part of “Three” on releases The Complete U2 in 2004 and the Boy remaster in 2008. The original versions that appeared on “Three” remains available only on the initial release.

The single is numbered with a sticker on the outside of the stretch wrap. The original had been numbered on the sleeve itself. If you are opening your copy of the 2019 release, do so with care as the sticker is easily torn. The catalog number on this release is 0803080, and the UPC is 6 02508 03080 2. The vinyl has been pressed in Germany, and the remastering has been done by Scott Sedillo for this release. There is not a download code available in this package.

The description for the item is as follows in press releases:

Originally released in Ireland in September 1979, the Three EP features three songs recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin with producer Chas De Whalley – ‘Out Of Control’, ‘Stories For Boys’ and ‘Boy-Girl’. The A-side was chosen via a listener poll on Dave Fanning’s RTÉ (Irish national radio) music show. All songs have been remastered for this numbered, limited edition RSD Black Friday reissue.

“Out of Control”, “Stories for Boys”, “Boy-Girl”

The fact that the vinyl was pressed at 45 RPM lead to some confusion among retailers, many of whom listed this release as a 7-Inch recording. There was only one version produced for the Black Friday event, with all copies being pressed in one location in Germany.

This follows U2’s previous participation in Record Store Day events releasing the past albums and singles in the past:

  • November 26, 2010: Release of the EP “Wide Awake in Europe” [5000 copies, numbered]
  • November 29, 2013: Release of the 10-inch single “Ordinary Love” [10000 copies]
  • November 28, 2014: Release of a North and South of the River Poster / Map
  • April 18, 2015: Release of Songs of Innocence on double 12-inch vinyl [5000 copies, numbered]
  • April 22, 2017: Release of “Red Hill Mining Town” as a 12-inch picture disc, also a limited release of a numbered ‘fanzine’ [7000 copies of vinyl, 1000 copies of US fanzine, 500 copies of UK fanzine]
  • November 24, 2017: Release of “The Blackout” in 12-inch black and 12-inch coloured vinyl [750 copies limited coloured vinyl, 19250 copies of black vinyl]
  • April 21, 2018: Release of “Lights of Home” as a 12-inch picture disc [5000 copies]
  • November 23, 2018: Release of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” as a 12-inch black vinyl [7000 copies]
  • April 13, 2019: Release of “The Europa EP” as a 12-inch black vinyl [5000 copies]

Record Store Day is a twice a year event, with the main event held in April of each year, and a smaller secondary event being held in November of each year, to correspond with the USA shopping day known as Black Friday. The Record Store Day event itself started in 2008 as a way to bring attention to the local independent record store.

Liner Notes

Original Credits:
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Bono: Vocals, The Edge: Guitar, Adam Clayton: Bass, Larry Mullen: Drums. Management: Paul McGuinness
All titles produced by U2 and Chas de Whalley. Remixed by Robbie McGrath. Recorded at Windmill Lane Studios.

2019 Credits:
U2 Manager: Guy Oseary. Maverick Management: Greg Thompson, Nadine King, Jennifer Pitcher.
Creative Director: Gavin Friday
Director of Production: Nadine King
All Tracks Remastered by Scott Sedillo, Bernie Grundman Mastering


Art Direction and Design: Shaughn McGrath

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